Protesters slam ‘fox hunt’ ruling
FOX hunt activists have slammed the decision by CPS not to charge anyone after residents claimed a pack of foxhounds caused mayhem in a quiet street.
Cheshire Police launched an investigation after an allegation that the dogs chased a fox – which was later found dead in a back garden in Macclesfield.
Residents told of pandemonium when the pack of animals came hurtling across a field and into Penningtons Lane on Feb- ruary 25. A video of the incident recorded by Cheshire Monitors, the anti-fox hunt campaigners, was provided to police.
Now after a threemonth probe, the Crown Prosecution Service has decided no one involved from Cheshire Forest Hunt will be charged because there was ‘ not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction’.
Cheshire Monitors has hit out at the decision.
A spokesman said: “The Hunting Act needs re writing to close its many loopholes.
“What any government should be doing now is totally banning all forms of hunting for sport rather than making it legal again.”
The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs.
However in order to commit an offence a person must intentionally hunt the animal. The offence cannot be committed by accident.
Prosecutors said that a review of the video footage determined it was insufficient to prove that the actions depicted were deliberate.
A Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said: “Earlier this year the police referred two files to the Crown Prosecution Service relating to the Cheshire Forest Hunt.
“In both cases our pros- ecutor decided there was not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction.”
Cheshire Forest Hunt failed to respond to our request for a comment.
In July the government ruled out trying to lift the ban on fox hunting ban for another two years.
Meanwhile Labour MPs want a vote on tightening existing law.
Under the plans fox hunters could face five years in jail if they kill animals illegally.
There have been 280 successful prosecutions since the Hunting Act came into force 12 years ago.
The incident in Penningtons Lane in February